I would think that death always brings grief to someone. At least I would hope it does. It's hard to imagine anyone dying and no one caring.
Grief in the case of an elderly person who has lived a long and full life is somehow eased with all those memories and the realization that it was their "time".
But death of a young person, especially a child, is a horrible experience for the surviving family and loved ones. I witness the initial shock of hearing the news that a child is dead often as a public safety chaplain.
And I see the worst - the cases when there is no "forewarning" like a known illness or risky surgery. There's no preparation. Most that I am involved with are sudden and totally unexpected. One minute the child is enjoying life as chldren do. The next they are lifeless.
Sunday I was involved with one of those heart-wrenching cases as a just-turned 13 year old girl suffered an apparent cardiac arrest while sleeping. While on vacation and away from home, friends, family, church.
I met with the parents at the emergency room to offer support and prayers. They actually quoted Romans 8:28 to me. This young girl has a vibrant relationship with Christ. Spiritually we're told that knowing there is eternal life ahead because of the work of Christ and our belief in Him takes the sting of death away. I saw that.
That trust in God's sovereignty doesn't, however, answer the inevitable "Why?" questions. Those may never be answered in part much less fully here.
As I do regularly in these situations, I asked the parents if they would consider organ donation. What parent considers this in advance and already has an answer ready? Precious few, I'm afraid. But without hesitation they looked at each other and said, "Yes. If her organs can allow another child to live, yes."
I informed the nurse and the papers were signed. And I hope that somewhere someones' sons or daughters are being given a chance at a longer life because of such an unselfish act.
It doesn't erase the pain, but it does help.
If you would like to know more about organ donation, please click the link to the right of this page.